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Interview with Steven Boykey Sidley



 
 
A house without books is like a room without windows. ~Heinrich Mann
 
The kindle sort of ruined this quote, but it still holds, mostly. No books in shelves means a household and inhabitants with no recognisable personality. Then you have to ask your hosts - um, what have you read lately? And suffer the stunned silence that usually follows.
 
  
Having your book turned into a movie is like seeing your oxen turned into bouillon cubes. ~John LeCarre
 
True, except for The Godfather. And having a movie turned into a book is even worse is like having bouillon cubes turned into hamster food.
 
  
He who lends a book is an idiot. He who returns the book is more of an idiot. ~Arabic Proverb
 
 
This man has trust issues. He who lends a book is a saint .He who returns the book is a man of honour.
 
 
Borrowers of books [are] mutilators of collections, spoilers of the symmetry of shelves and creators of odd volumes. ~Charles Lamb, Essays of Elia, "The Two Races of Men," 1822
 
 
Nah. Borrowers of books are too cheap to allow the author to get his tiny royalty. Actually that’s harsh. But if the borrower likes the book, please buy the author's next one.
 
 
Books - the best antidote against the marsh-gas of boredom and vacuity. ~George Steiner
 
Except the awful ones. Actually, they are a smidgeon better than marsh-gas. What is marsh-gas, anyway?
 
 
Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. But a book is never just a book. ~The Old Sage Bookshop in Prescott, Arizona
 

 
He never smoked an illegal Cuban, and I have read books that are actually less than books.
 

There is no such thing as a moral or immoral book; books are well written or badly written. ~Oscar Wilde, Picture of Dorian Gray, 1891
 
And to an extend, there’s no such thing as unlikeable
 
 
Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body. ~Richard Steele, Tatler, 1710
 
And less tiring. Sometimes I don't even break a sweat.
 
 
A man may as well expect to grow stronger by always eating as wiser by always reading. ~Jeremy Collier
 
Depends how heavy the book is. I am reading an 800 pager now. I am getting wiser AND stronger.
 
 
Books support us in our solitude and keep us from being a burden to ourselves. ~Jeremy Collier
 
Jeez, Jeremy, lighten up. Solitude? Burden? What the hell are you reading? Try Norah Ephron or Woody Allen.
 

A good book is always on tap; it may be decanted and drunk a hundred times, and it is still there for further imbibement. ~Holbrook Jackson
 
Clearly Mr. Hoolbrook has other habits as well.
 
 
Americans like fat books and thin women. ~Russell Baker
 
Yeah, well. Then along came mobile phones.
 
 
I would never read a book if it were possible for me to talk half an hour with the man who wrote it. ~Woodrow Wilson
 
Clearly you can be a statesman and an ignoramus at the same time (and, not surprising, a virulent racist). Talking to the author invariably kills the book.
 
 
There are worse crimes than burning books. One of them is not reading them. ~Joseph Brodsky
 
Ah, finally. A quote requiring no comment other than an enthusiastic nod.


- Sidley is the award-winning and multi-shortlisted author of  EntanglementStepping Out and Imperfect Solo. He is published both locally and internationally. 


 
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